Across the Yasson River, up to 64 degrees Fahrenheit, the top of the World Highway is a mile-long landscape of 65 miles to the Alaska border. Contrary to the highways of the Yukon Province, which overlook the river valleys, the upper part of the world runs along a line. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails are seen in the lush valleys, underground plains, remote mountain ranges, and the traditional landscapes of the Tr’ondëk Hwë’in people.
Long before the world was rated and calculated and named after the State Highway, Trindok Hawich traveled this way through seasonal trips between the river and the mountains – hunting the Caribbean, gathering berries and wild rhubarb, gathering for festivals, telling stories. When gold seekers began to arrive in the late 1890s, the leader of the Tinderk Hughes, Chief Isaac, became concerned with the heritage of his people and performed their songs, dances, and gnnäk (Dance stick, symbol of their culture) To the largest branch of the Han Nation. The top of the world is the way this treasure was taken to the mountains for safety.
More than 3,400 miles to the southeast, Southampton’s first national cultural landscape is part of the Ontario Moodwood Plains Ikozon, once dense forest, and now abundant in Canada and in commercial and industrial territory. At the Bruce Peninsula (Toronto), a three-hour drive (a famous national park awaiting the region’s last uninterrupted forest stand), the Saugen River flows east of Lake Horon. At the mouth of the river, in a 100-hectare park on the Sajuan First National Reserve, a stone amphitheater and a 20-hectare park overlooking the vast river valley. Built about a million tons of limestone in the 1970s, the so-called Creator Garden was created as a platform for communication between indigenous and non-indigenous communities. As a venue for meetings, ceremonies, music and theater, the site receives thousands of visitors a year. But it has been in decline for decades.
These two landscape interventions – the garden of the world and the Creator – are the subject of various recent, landscape architect-master master plans on different scales and in different areas of life. Through both their ingredients and their processes, these plans demonstrate the professional’s ability to address the injustices and conflicts that have arisen from North American colonial history. (Additional…)
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